Cassopolis-Vandalia Chamber of Commerce donates to RoboRangers

The Cassopolis-Vandalia Chamber of Commerce presented the Cassopolis FIRST Robotics team with a $1,000 donation to help offset costs for this year’s competitions. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

The Cassopolis-Vandalia Chamber of Commerce presented the Cassopolis FIRST Robotics team with a $1,000 donation to help offset costs for this year’s competitions. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

The Cassopolis-Vandalia Chamber of Commerce donated $1,000 to the Cassopolis FIRST Robotics team to help them fund this year’s competition.

“The chamber was very impressed with the program and the young people involved,” Chamber President Charlie Retherford said. “We liked their commitment and hard work and Robotics is actually providing them with practical skills that will stay with them forever. In addition to the engineering and technology involved, they are also learning how to prepare a business plan, raise money and advertise their ‘business.’

“That gives us hope that in the future one or more of these students will choose to start their own business in this area. We really need them to ensure the successful future of our town.”

The RoboRangers began building their robot the first week of January and only has six weeks to complete it before beginning competition.

The game for 2016, which was released Jan. 9, is called First Stronghold.

The game will be played by two alliances of three teams, which must breach the opponent’s defenses and capture their town by firing “boulders” (small foam balls) before surrounding or scaling the tower using rungs.

This year’s team includes 18 freshmen and a pair of exchange students from Germany.

While the team is busy with preparations for the competition, it has also been out trying to raise the money needed to compete in a pair of competitions in an attempt to quality for the state competition.

The first competition will be March 10-12 at St. Joseph High School. The state competition will be in Grand Rapids April 13-16.

Mentors for this year’s team are Jess Ayers, Fritz Kucklick, Chris Bergen, Jim Smith, Jim Ward, Tim Green, Karen Wright, Kristine Widerquist-Bosler, Mike Green, Ken Hoff, Lisa Adams, Mark Majewski and Mark Hanner.

The team consists of Amy Adams, Brandon Anderson, Amelia Ayers, Aliyah Baldwin, Daisy Baldwin, Eric Bosler, Austin Bruens, Maggie Coyle, Aiden Dahlgren, Alex Davis, Selena Emig, A.J. Evans, Lane Francis, Destiny Franks, Garrett Green, Zach Greenfield, Jed Johansen, Andrew Jones, Jasmine Kadlec, Jacqueline Kelley-Cogdell, Cassidy Kuehn, Kwesi Huffman, Dana Majewski, Robbie Phillips, Nicholas Prestly, Khan Ratsamy, Ryan Rininger, Selena Schmidt, Felix Shultz, Madison Suseland, Joseph Touhey and Mary Wright.

For more information about the RoboRangers, or to have them make a presentation, call 783-5326 or email them at RoboRangers4325@gmail.com.

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